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The Superyacht Stewardess Guide to Red Wines

When it comes to managing a superyacht, you’ll definitely need a solid foundation in ever-popular red wines.

In this guide, we’ll highlight everything you need to know about choosing, storing, and serving red wines aboard your superyacht.

What Is Red Wine?

Dark-coloured grape varieties are chosen for red wines. They are hand or machine picked, and the best ones are ultimately chosen for use.

The stems are removed and grapes are crushed before being fermented in their skins.

During the fermentation process, red wine grapes are hand mixed to extract juices and prevent bacteria growth.

Once fermented, the grapes are moved to barrels where they mature.

Red wine is a classic, known for its full flavour and wide varieties. There are several keys to choosing a “good” bottle of red wine, many of which come down to preference. We’ll cover the information you need to make a great choice based on various factors. 

How to Store Red Wine on a Yacht

Special considerations must be made when storing red wine on a yacht. First, you must consider that there is near-constant agitation when out to sea.

There are a few problems with this. Perhaps most obvious, the constant movement makes it easier for red wine bottles to get damaged or broken. Secondly, red wines tend to need to settle before being served, and this continuous movement makes it difficult for that to occur.

With that in mind, it’s best to have an onboard cellar with temperature and humidity controls.

Each bottle needs to be secured to minimize movement, which ultimately will cause your red wines to age faster.

If you know that you’ll be storing red wine onboard for an extended period of time, it’s best to purchase a younger wine. Any wine stored onboard should be consumed within two years.

Another important storage consideration: you should never store any wine, including red wine, near any diesel fumes or cleaning products because odours can contaminate the flavour of the wine through the cork.

Red wine storage aboard a superyacht can be a bit of a challenge, but with the proper cellar and considerations, you can keep the perfect red wines on hand and ready to serve at all times. 

How to Serve Red Wine

When serving red wine on a superyacht, it’s important to allow the wine to stand a day before serving to allow sediment to settle.

In the case of light and medium-bodied reds, such as Beaujolais and Pinot Noir, are best served chilled at 54-60° in a chianti glass for fruity, acidic wines.

In more delicate yet complex red wines, a Pinot Noir glass would be the ideal choice.

In terms of full-bodied reds, which include merlots and cabernet sauvignon, the best serving temperature is between 60-65° in a wide-bowled glass to properly allow wines with higher acidity to breathe. 

Popular Red Wine Grape Types Every Superyacht Stewardess Should Know About

There are several popular red wine grape types you should be aware of. Various grapes will offer various flavours, as you might expect, and knowing the basics of red wine grapes can be helpful in choosing the perfect red wine.

There are quite literally thousands of grape variations, but these are the ones you should be most familiar with:

– Merlot: known for its flavours including cherry, toffee, and plum

– Pinot Noir: strawberry, raspberry, and cherry flavours

– Cabernet Sauvignon: plum, black cherry, and blackberry with subtle hints of vanilla, black pepper, liquorice, and spice

– Syrah: savoury flavours ranging herbs and red/dark fruits to pepper and smoke; aged in oak, expect tones of spice and vanilla

– Tempranillo: flavours of plums, figs, cherry, and leather

Knowing this information can help you perfectly pair red wines with your onboard menu.

Keep in Mind…

There are a few other important considerations to make when choosing and serving red wine. For instance, you will likely serve 5-6 glasses per wine bottle. Other considerations in term of red wines include the producer, whether it’s vintage or not, where the grapes were grown, and ABV.

Once you’ve become familiar with the basics of red wines and how to store and serve them aboard your superyacht, you’ll be able to delight your guests at every meal where red wine is requested.


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Wine Basics for The Superyacht Stewardess

Wine Basics for The Superyacht Stewardess. This is one of those subjects that is very involved and requires a lot of training to master. In fact, it takes years to become a master sommelier.

As a superyacht stewardess, you do not need to go to such lengths, however, you are required to have a good foundation on this topic. Furthermore,  learning the basics of wine cannot only help you select the best wines for your guests to enjoy, but it will also help you improve your taste preferences.

With many types of wines to purchase and serve, it can become quite confusing to understand the best wines to choose and how to read a wine label properly.  The following article just scratches the surface of this vast subject.

Please comment below if you would like to see more content like this.

How is Wine Made

Wine-making begins with grapes on the vine. Grapes must be properly ripe before they are picked for wine. Overly-ripe grapes or grapes that are not ripe enough will cause the taste of the wine to suffer.

The quality of the grapes is essential for the best-tasting wine because they are the foundation for the beverage.

  • Grapes can be hand-picked off the vine or machine harvested
  • Once the grapes arrive at the winery, the grapes are sorted through
  • Any rotten grapes are removed
  • Stems are then removed from the grapes, and then the grapes are crushed slightly.

White and red wines differ in how they are made. White wines are pressed, which separates the juice from the skins. The process is performed before the grapes are fermented.

Red wines get fermented in their skins. During the fermentation period, grapes are hand mixed to extract the juices and to prevent bacteria from growing. After the grapes have finished fermenting, the red wines are moved to barrels where they will complete maturation.

Wine Basics for The Superyacht Stewardess

Wine Grape Variations

There are numerous types of grapes that can be used to make wine. The different varieties of grapes used will alter the flavour of the wine. The thousands of grape varieties make it possible to experiment with flavours to create a wide range of wines with distinct flavours.

It’s important to understand the characteristics of many of the popular grapes used to wine to get a better idea of how they will affect the overall taste of the wine. Learning about what types of grapes yield the best white or red wine is crucial when it comes to wine-making.

Popular White Wine Grapes

  • Chardonnay is a classic variety of grape used to create white Burgundies. It’s one of the most popular types of grapes used to make Champagne.
  • Muscadine is another white wine grape variety, and it’s grown primarily in the southeastern United States and Mexico. It produces grapey-tasting flavour and is commonly known for its use in the Tokay.
  • Chenin Blanc is another popular white wine grape variety. It features good acid levels, thin skin, and natural sugar content that is high. It’s used in Pinot Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, and Muscadet wines.
  • Malvasia is a grape variety that produces wines that can have numerous tastes. Wines made from these grapes can have sweet flavours to flavours that are exceptionally dry.

Popular Red Wine Grapes

  • Merlot is a grape variety that ripens early. It produces red wines that feature flavours of cherry, toffee, and plum. Nebbiolo is another popular red wine grape variety and is a grape that ripens late. It features prune, chocolaty, and tannic characteristics.
  • The Nebbiolo grape variety is known to be difficult to grow.
  • Pinot Noir is an important grape variety used to make Burgundy wine. Wines made from these grapes feature strawberry, raspberry, and cherry aromas.
  • Gamay is the only red grape featured in Beaujolais wines. Flavours of wine made from this grape variety have been described as bubble gum and banana flavoured that eventually evolve into walnut, hazelnuts, and spice.

Bottle Variations

Bottle variations are a term used in wine to describe bottles of the same wine that feature different smells and tastes. The factors that could affect the taste and smell of the wine include the variation of the contents prior to packaging and any variation used in storage and distribution.

It could also have an impact on bottle variations in any differences in the packaging components and the product and packaging process. One of the most prominent factors that have an influence on wine bottle variation is the variable levels of oxygen exposure.

How Many Glasses of Wine are in a Bottle

When you buy a bottle of wine, it’s important to know how many glasses of wine you’ll be able to pour from one bottle. The size of the wine glass used determines the number of services you’ll get out of the bottle.

Most bottles of wine contain 25.4 fluid ounces. If you pour four-ounce servings of wine, you’ll get six servings per bottle of wine. If you pour five-ounce servings, you’ll get five servings of wine.

Wine Basics for The Superyacht Stewardess

The General Basics of Reading a Wine Label

Reading a wine label can be quite confusing. There’s a lot of information to take in before you can make a purchase. Learning how to read a wine label properly is important.

A wine label will feature:

  • The producer of the wine
  • Vintage or non-vintage
  • Region
  • Variety and ABV.

Note: The variety of appellation refers to the grape varieties used in the wine-making process. Vintage or non-vintage is the year the grapes were harvested. ABV stands for alcohol by volume.

Wine Basics – For The Superyacht Stewardess. For more like this buy your copy of The Stewardess Bible today